|Who says science fiction can't be homoerotic?|
"'And I could not go to the men who had carried out my orders and say, 'Here I am, your own true Lord! Obey me and kill that fool who is now giving you orders!' I would have been shot down at once, because Urthona had described me to his servants, and they thought I was the enemy of their leader.'"
Behind the Walls of Terra is the fourth book in Philip Jose Farmer's World of Tiers series. The first book, The Maker of Universes, the second book, The Gates of Creation, and the third book, A Private Cosmos have all been reviewed here. After this entry there is only one more book in the series - A Lavalite World.
In this installment, Kickaha and Anana journey back to Earth as they chase the last of the Black Bellers. Jadawin/Wolff and his lover Chryseis have preceded them through the earthbound gate, and eventually all four must contend with Red Orc, the Lord of Earth.
Behind the Walls of Terra is MUCH better than the previous book in the series, though a sense of suspense is largely absent from the book. The characters are handled better; their actions seem believable, but it's hard to care much about them. They are primarily action figures, which would have been fine if the plot had been better thought out.
More foreshadowing would have also done wonders for this book. As it is, the ending just kind of happens, and there's no real twist at the end which would have made the book much better. There are some allusions made to Kickaha's "true parentage," but the nature of this parentage - along with the whereabouts of both Wolff and Chryseis - are abandoned to the book's sequel.
And what are the "walls" of Terra, exactly? The book makes no mention of them!
Anyway, it's an improvement over A Private Cosmos. Hopefully the last book in the series, A Lavalite World, is better still.